Types of cardiac testing
Premier Cardiology Consultants offers the following types of cardiac testing:
Echocardiography uses an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to assess the functioning and health of the heart by creating images out of sound waves. In addition to detecting many other heart problems, echocardiograms can diagnose specific heart conditions; determine if heart abnormalities exist; and evaluate the effectiveness of procedures that have been performed on the heart. There are five basic types of echocardiograms: transthoracic (TTE); transesophageal (TEE); stress; Dobutamine stress; andintravascular ultrasound.
Exercise Stress Testing
An exercise treadmill stress test helps a cardiologist find out how well your heart handles work. As your heart rate and blood pressure increase during exercise, your heart requires more oxygen. The test can show if the blood supply to your heart is reduced (by a blockage in the heart’s arteries). It also helps uncover arrhythmias that could be causing your palpitations or fainting. A person taking the test is hooked up to an EKG to monitor the heart rhythm, and walks slowly on a treadmill. Then the speed is increased for a faster pace and the treadmill is tilted to resemble. The cardiologist can stop the test at any time if needed, and afterwards, you will sit or lie down to have your heart rate and blood pressure checked. Cardiologists may recommend an exercise treadmill test to help diagnose the cause of your chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or palpitations.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. It is an excellent screening test that takes less than 5 minutes to perform, and can diagnose a variety of abnormal conditions with your heart.
A nuclear cardiology stress test, also known as myocardial perfusion imaging, is used to determine if the heart is receiving an adequate blood supply under both stress and rest conditions. It involves injecting into the bloodstream a small amount of radioactive material that then circulates through the body, helping to evaluate the blood flow and function of the heart. A nuclear cardiology stress test is typically given to those who have symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pains, that indicate coronary artery disease. It is also used to determine the risk of a heart attack, and to show if there is limited blood flow to the heart. A nuclear cardiology stress test helps to diagnose coronary artery disease, and determine the best treatment plan for serious heart conditions.
Cardiac Catheterization (Angiograms)
A coronary angiogram, also called cardiac catheterization, is an X-ray image of the inside of the heart’s arteries using a contrast dye. The imaging is performed to detect the approximate location of an aneurysm or a blockage that may be causing your chest pain or shortness of breath. A thin tube called a catheter is inserted through an IV into an artery in either the wrist or leg, and then carefully positioned near the heart. The contrast dye is injected and X-rays pictures are taken. If there is a blocked or damaged artery, treatment for the condition can be done at the same time with an angioplasty or stent.
Cardiology is the medical specialty that deals with all conditions of the heart and blood vessels. Make an appointment to meet our physicians in person to discuss your specific symptoms or cardiovascular issues.
A Holter monitor is a small, portable device that continuously records the heart’s rhythms and records the electrical activity of the heart. A Holter monitor may be used to capture information and check an individual’s heart rhythm if results of other tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), have been inconclusive. The monitor is worn for 24 to 48 hours during normal activity, and it records the heart’s electrical activity during that time period.
Extended Cardiac Monitoring
An event monitor is a small machine (about the size of a pager) that monitors your heart rhythm beat-to-beat in real time. It automatically detects irregular heart rhythms that may be causing your fainting, dizziness, chest pain or palpitations. Once a cardiologist finds out if your symptoms are coming from an irregular heart rhythm he may refer you to a heart rhythm doctor (electrophysiologist) to discuss specific treatment options.
(Carotid, Abdominal Aortic, And Extremity)
A carotid artery ultrasound is a diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the neck’s internal carotid arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. A carotid artery ultrasound is used to evaluate a patient’s risk of stroke or other cardiovascular complications by checking for artery-narrowing plaque buildup.
The abdominal aorta is the artery that runs through the middle of the abdomen, supplying blood to the lower half of the body. It can develop an aneurysm, which is a localized, balloon-like expansion caused by having weak walls. If an aneurysm is suspected, an abdominal aortic ultrasound, which provides information about blood flow through the aorta, may be performed. Detecting an abdominal aortic aneurysm is crucial because, if it ruptures, blood spills into the abdominal cavity, and death can result within a number of minutes.
A lower extremity ultrasound provides diagnostic images of the vessels within the lower extremities, most commonly used to diagnose vascular conditions in the legs. This procedure can identify narrowed or blocked arteries or veins, clotting or faulty valves, and is essential in achieving successful vein treatment. Since vascular disease is a serious condition that involves abnormal functioning within the veins of the legs which may cause pain and which can lead to complications such as aneurysm and stroke, lower extremity ultrasound is an important diagnostic tool.
Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are medications used to prevent and treat clots either in the heart or the leg. Coumadin (warfarin) is a specific blood thinner that requires serial blood monitoring to make sure your coumadin levels (INR) are not too low or too high. Our office can help manage your coumadin levels for whatever amount of time your doctor recommends take coumadin.
Pacemaker Or ICD Clinic
As a service to our patients who have pacemakers or defibrillators (ICDs) we provide maintenance of your device through scheduled appointments. Device checks occur a few times a year in person. During these visits, your incision will be inspected to make sure there are no signs of infection, and then the device’s functions, battery level, and programming are checked. If need your device’s settings can be adjusted at the same time. This helps fine-tune your pacemaker or ICD to get you the best possible results. We check pacemakers and ICDs from all the major manufacturers including Biotronik, Boston Scientific, Medtronic and St. Jude.